[ISEA2011] Panel: Don Rit­ter – Con­tent Os­mo­sis

Panel Statement

Panel: Without Sin: Taboo and Freedom within Digital Media

Con­tent Os­mo­sis refers to a sit­u­a­tion when an as­pect of a medium’s con­tent is trans­ferred to the per­son­al­ity of an au­di­ence, such as in­tel­lec­tual con­tent mak­ing the au­di­ence feel more in­tel­lec­tual, or when the ex­clu­sive­ness of the con­tent makes the au­di­ence be­lieve that they are ex­clu­sive. This en­hance­ment, how­ever, may only be a be­lief by an au­di­ence rather than some­thing  that is ob­serv­able: the au­di­ence does not ac­tu­ally be­come more in­tel­li­gent, ex­clu­sive or what­ever. Con­tent Os­mo­sis is a medium sub­terfuge which is often used to ob­tain fi­nan­cial profit from the au­di­ence, and con­tent os­mo­sis is often in­cor­po­rated into the con­tent of a medium ac­cord­ing to its in­dented au­di­ence.

  • Don Rit­ter is a Cana­dian artist and writer liv­ing in Berlin. His work refers to the so­cial func­tion of media and its re­la­tion­ship with hege­mony, ser­vil­ity, and com­modi­ti­za­tion. Within his in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tions, au­di­ences par­tic­i­pate in so­cial por­traits that are de­ter­mined through phys­i­cal body ac­tiv­ity and voice. Rit­ter’s work has fo­cused on per­for­mances of in­ter­ac­tive video con­trolled by live, im­pro­vised music. His writ­ings are pri­mar­ily con­cerned with media lit­er­acy, ethics, and aes­thet­ics. Rit­ter’s video-sound in­stal­la­tions and per­for­mances have been ex­hib­ited at fes­ti­vals and mu­se­ums through­out Eu­rope, North Amer­ica and Asia, in­clud­ing SITE Santa Fe (USA), Win­ter Olympics 2010 Cul­tural Olympiad (Van­cou­ver), Metrònom (Barcelona), Son­am­bi­ente Sound Fes­ti­val (Berlin), Exit Fes­ti­val (Paris), and New Music Amer­ica (New York City). Rit­ter has de­grees in Elec­tron­ics En­gi­neer­ing Tech­nol­ogy (North­ern Al­berta In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy), Fine Arts and Psy­chol­ogy (Uni­ver­sity of Wa­ter­loo), and a Mas­ters in Vi­sual Stud­ies (Mass­a­chu­setts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy/Cen­ter for Ad­vanced Vi­sual Stud­ies). He has held full-time pro­fes­sor­ships in art and de­sign at Con­cor­dia Uni­ver­sity (Montréal) and at Pratt In­sti­tute (New York City). His work has re­ceived sup­port and recog­ni­tion from the Canada Coun­cil, The Banff Cen­tre (Canada), Pratt In­sti­tute (USA), ZKM (Ger­many), Ars Elec­tron­ica (Aus­tria), DGArtes (Por­tu­gal),the Goethe In­sti­tute (Ger­many), and the Eu­ro­pean Union Cul­ture Pro­gramme.                               aesthetic-machinery.com